Latest News

February 3, 2018

Sportsman AGM

Just a quick reminder to all members that our AGM will take place at the Club HQ on Wednesday the 21st February (Kick-Off 7.45pm).

Copies of the Agenda and Balance Sheet will be posted out next week.

If you know of any fanciers in the North East interested in having a go at the Nationals please encourage them to come and join us - tell them they won’t regret it if they fancy a challenge.

Bob Mckie

January 28, 2018

NFC Annual General Meeting

Saturday 27th January 2018

Dear Members,

Jim Sexton and I attended the meeting at Alverley, in Shropshire where we were both elected onto the NFC Committee as Section N delegates.

Jim will provide detailed feedback at our next meeting on the 21st February however you may be interested to know that all 4 propositions were passed including No.4 which will result in the return of the leader board as operated in 2016. Good news all round.

In addition it was confirmed that:

  • Section boundaries remain the same.

  • There was full support for the shift in Section N Marking Station to Toft Hill.

  • The NFC will arrange for racing crates (12) to be delivered to the Marking Station in the week prior to first National race.

The NFC confirmed that birds could be ferried down to Sheffield on the Wednesday evening and transferred onto the NFC Transporter. Replacement crates for the return journey would be available. It was also confirmed that the NFC would provide some financial support to partly cover our transport costs.

All in all it was a successful meeting.

Bob Mckie

October 22, 2017

Secretary’s Report

A meeting of the Sportsman FC will be held on Wednesday 8th Nov at 7:45pm at HQ.


  • Review Pay Out night
  • Race Marking Options for 2018
  • NFC Section N Delegate required for 2018
  • Set AGM date

Hope to see you there.

Presentation Night

Jim Nicholson top prize winner in 2017 - winner of 1st Messac sub Ancenis Nat - 1st Fougeres sub Jarnac Nat & 1st Coutances Nat YBJim Nicholson top prize winner in 2017 - winner of 1st Messac sub Ancenis Nat - 1st Fougeres sub Jarnac Nat & 1st Coutances Nat YB

Jim Nicholson with Mrs Hazel Gaskill & grandson Isaac - Jim winner of the George Gaskill Memorial Trophy for Ancenis raceJim Nicholson with Mrs Hazel Gaskill & grandson Isaac - Jim winner of the George Gaskill Memorial Trophy for Ancenis race

Dave McSween & Jim Sexton with Nick Adshead - They were 2nd highest prize winners in 2017Dave McSween & Jim Sexton with Nick Adshead - They were 2nd highest prize winners in 2017

Jeff Walton & Nick Adshead - J Walton & Son winners of 1st Fougeres Nat & 3rd highest prize winnersJeff Walton & Nick Adshead - J Walton & Son winners of 1st Fougeres Nat & 3rd highest prize winners

Bob McKie receiving his prizes from Nick AdsheadBob McKie receiving his prizes from Nick Adshead

Barry Blackett receiving his prizes from Nick AdsheadBarry Blackett receiving his prizes from Nick Adshead

Tom Cuthbertson & Nick Adshead - Tom winner of 1st Messac NatTom Cuthbertson & Nick Adshead - Tom winner of 1st Messac Nat

Les Thurlow & Nick Adshead - Thurlow Strong & McCluskey winners of 1st Coutances Nat Old HensLes Thurlow & Nick Adshead - Thurlow Strong & McCluskey winners of 1st Coutances Nat Old Hens

John Best & Son receiving their prizes from Nick AdsheadJohn Best & Son receiving their prizes from Nick Adshead

Mrs Gaskill receiving flowers from Bob McKieMrs Gaskill receiving flowers from Bob McKie

Belle Landlady of the Sportsman Inn receiving flowers from Bob McKieBelle Landlady of the Sportsman Inn receiving flowers from Bob McKie

August 14, 2017

Marking arrangements for the NFC Old Hens/Youngbird National

Coutances National OH/YB on 2nd September (392 miles to Coxhoe). Pick up at the Sportsman Wednesday 30th August 20-00(For Sportsman FC members).

Marking Thursday morning 31th August 07-30 to 08-30 at Sheffield Marking Station.

June 5, 2017

NFC Messac substitute for Ancenis Nat 6,815 birds entered nationally

After a very demanding race here is our club’s provisional result

Provisional Sportsman FC Result

  • Jim Nicholson of South Shields 1st Sportsman FC, 1st NFC Section N, provisionally 12th NFC Open

  • Jeff Walton & Son of Coxhoe 2nd Sportsman FC, 2nd NFC Section N provisionally 107th NFC Open

  • Barrie Blackett of Butterknowle 3rd & 5th Sportsman FC, 3rd & 7th NFC Section N provisionally 124th & 370th NFC Open

  • Bob McKie of Blackhall Mill 4th Sportsman FC, 5th NFC Section N, provisionally 214th NFC Open

Well done all who timed on.

It has just been confirmed that the next NFC race will be from Messac on 17th June.

May 28, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Fougeres National

Well after four nights in the basket the NFC convoy of 8,250 birds were liberated at 8.00 am in a light South-South-East wind.

Sportsman members had entered over 150 birds which was somewhat disappointing although the race may have come a couple of weeks early for some lofts to have the birds conditioning in order.

Based on recent experience a reasonably fast race was expected. The real disappointment in my view was the absence of the NFC Website flagging up early arrivals. It is essential that we get this re-instated for next season notwithstanding the security issue the management officials and members must realise that in this era of new technology the gap will be filled. I would rather see the NFC driving this than a rogue website.

Remember if someone is going to commit fraud and try fiddling the display of early arrival times will have minimum impact if Marking Stations are managed efficiently and procedures are correctly followed.

Back to the race and what an excellent event it was for our Chairman Jeff Walton who timed 3 early birds and provisionally these will all be in the first 10 of the Sportsman result, including 1st and 3rd position. In addition his first bird is provisionally standing 2nd Section N.

In 2nd place with an excellent bird were Dave McSween and Jim Sexton of Silksworth.

4th position, yours truly Bob Mckie. At Stockton and 5th club were John & Steven Best.

Several members timed in decent birds which will live to fight another day. Overall the race was satisfactory with around 50% returns.

Jeff wins the Vanrobaey Feeds sponsorship prizes of various products and 2 bags of their young bird mixture. Interestingly Jeff has been using a variety of Vanrobaey Premium mixes this season and is well pleased with the results.

He also wins the £50 sponsorship prize from Oxhill Garage, Stanley (Many thanks to Mick Fantarrow for his support).

I must send congratulations to the Anderson family at Washington, who not only win Section N but also had a total of 7 birds in the clock I believe. All of which will figure prominently in the final Section N result.

Ancenis National

Once started the National races seem to arrive rapidly so don’t forget your entry forms etc.

Hope to see everyone at Bowburn on Wednesday night and even if you are not racing helpers are really welcome.

Bob Mckie

May 20, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Race marking for Fougeres National

Well that’s the first Bowburn Marking Station completed and overall it didn’t go that badly.

The hall we have tapped into is first class, quite spacious, and accessible with reasonable parking for all. There are parking spaces behind the main Community Centre which we can use more of in future if required.

The transporter was a little late in arriving due to heavy traffic but to his credit Bob, the driver kept me informed. He was able to park up, unload and load the crates quite easily and it is only a short walk from the hall to the vehicle.

Big thank you to all the members who acted as helpers. It does require quite a number to people complete the marking task especially with the tight security arrangements in operation. Barrie Blackett was in attendance early to set up the ETS which worked well. And the traditional task of rubbers was efficiently overseen by Jim Nicholson assisted by Jim Sexton & Colin Walker.

No doubt we will get better in future as we work smarter. Hopefully the same helpers will be in attendance next time and build on their experience.

Once again thanks.

The fanciers from Section O and K were also very supportive. One thing we learned is that for Unikon Profi system we need a larger base station as the Champ hardware is too small for the pocket clocks.

Race Day 20th May

As we know the birds were held-over because of the weather (as were MNFC) and to be fair I thought it was a good call. Check out the website for up to date weather forecasts if you don’t already. It is pretty impressive. Sunday looks a much better day and there is every chance given the forecast that Section N birds are in with a shout. So the best of luck to everyone.

Bob Mckie


May 13, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report


Check out the latest article raising the clubs profile in this weeks BHW.

RPRA Dispensation

I understand that the RPRA have stated that with NFC & MNFC 2017 rings carrying the extra zero, the first zero on the ring can be ignored for all National races.

Nick Adshead

I have spoken to Nick and he has provisionally agreed to attend our annual prize presentation evening as the main guest.

Avian Flu

Nothing further to report on the latest outbreak in Lancs. where racing has been banned within the isolation zone.

Fougeres National

Hope your preparations for the first National have gone well. Jeff Walton has been working tirelessly to ensure that our marking station at Bowburn is all ready to go. We will require all your support and hope everything works out ok on the night although there are bound to be some hiccups.

I am currently in talks with the NFC to finalise Transporter issues albeit the driver is aware that we start marking at 5.30pm. You may be interested to know that birds will receive their first light feed on the Thursday morning at Sheffield.

I am expecting the odd fancier from outside the Section boundary to be using the Marking Station.

Bob Mckie

April 24, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Annual Young Bird Sale

Just wanted to say a big thank you to Jeff & Matthew Walton and John Fellows for their sterling work in organising and co-ordinating the event both in the British Homing World and on our website as well as taking the telephone bids. Its success is very much down to their hard work and endeavours. Well done.

NFC 2017 Handbook

All paid up members should by now have received their copy of the 2017 Handbook. Contact Sid Barkel if your copy has not as yet arrived.

Fougeres National

Yes the first National of the season is fast approaching (Sat 20th May) hope you have your charges winding up for the race and hopefully we will see all previous entry levels broken.

NFC 2017 Annual Dinner and Trophy Presentation

This year the event will take place on Saturday the 25th November at The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate. For more details on booking arrangements go to page 69 of the Handbook. It would be great to see a big turnout from Sportsman members.

R. Mckie

April 21, 2017

April Sale

After yet another excellent phone-in sale, the members of the Sportsman FC would like to thank all the donors and buyers who have helped make the sale so successful. As well as our members who donate each year, we must thank our friends of the Sportsman throughout the country who support our aim to promote national racing in the North-East.

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